The Book of Luke, The Demon’s Disruption – Lesson 46
Luke 4:32-37, And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
Luke declares in verse 32 that they of the synagogue in Capernaum were astonished at his doctrine for his word was with power.
Luke continues with a specific incident at the synagogue which illustrates his point.
We indeed see in this incident how the word of Christ was with power.
On this Sabbath day Jesus, apparently in the midst of His teaching, was rudely interrupted by the loud protests of a demoniac.
Picture someone in this church letting loose with a loud voice and objecting to the preaching during the service.
As long as I have been in here this has never happened in this church.
What a shock it would be to all but it gave opportunity for the word of Jesus Christ to be displayed with power.
The satanic and demonic evil of this man, was designed to create chaos and confusion.
The devil’s agents were up to no good and were engaged in disruption.
According to Luke’s account, however, the incident simply was used of God to demonstrate the power of our Lord’s words and to spread His reputation throughout the region.
God uses the wrath of men to praise him and he also uses the wrath of demons to do the same.
You can never have a successful attack against God for he will always turn it around and send it back to you.
Jesus Christ was never thrown off by the devil or his agents and in this instance we see Jesus Christ reacting in the proper way without being put into confusion or chaos.
This is the first instance of demonic possession in Luke’s gospel.
It is also the first report of a miracle being performed on the Sabbath without protest by the Jewish authorities.
Apparently miracles on the Sabbath are all right if your life is in danger.
All were glad to have the demoniac cured even if it was on the sabbath, especially those sitting near him.
They were glad to see him shut up and disposed of.
At Nazareth, Jesus had been put out of the synagogue.
Now, at Capernaum, a demonized man had come into the synagogue, and the demon must be put out of the man.
It is a given that this was a demon dominated man.
The demoniac was so controlled by the demon spirit that he totally lost his person.
He was no longer an individual with a free will but was controlled by a demon.
Satan’s message to men is always freedom, but he only delivers bondage or slavery.
We are not given the name of this demonized man for we do not really meet the man but only meet the demon who speaks for Satan and uses the body of the man to speak.
And what a pathetic picture it is of a man filled with the spirit of Satan.
Think about the Christian who is filled with the Spirit of God in contrast to this man who is filled with the spirit of Satan.
The Christian is free from the dominion of sin and death.
Christians are free to exercise all of their God-given talents and potential.
They are free to be the unique one and only individual God meant them to be and to fulfill their unique role in the church and in the world.
The demonized man was just a body to be possessed, a mouth through whom Satan could speak.
And that is where sin leads when you are in league with the devil.
Only in Christ are men made free.
John 8:36, If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Only filled by His Spirit can we experience freedom and individuality.
We are told in this passage that the demon was unclean but in contrast to this the demon recognized the Lord in verse 34, as “the Holy or Separated One of God”.
The demon was loud and disruptive and we are told in verse 33 . He cried out with a loud voice.
He no doubt intended to interrupt and disrupt the teaching of Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum while also seeking information.
It also appears that in addition to being very hostile and angry at Jesus Christ, the demon was perplexed and confused.
The demon’s response indicates that he was something like a wild animal that has been cornered and trapped.
For when the truth was preached in his midst and he reacted violently against it.
Jesus’ preaching was again divisive and was about to divide the demon from the man.
The demon’s question, “Art thou come to destroy us?” (4:34), could just as easily have been a statement, “You have come to destroy us!”
The demon felt great threat from this man Jesus.
Does the word “us” that the demon used refer to many demons in the man or does it refer to the totality of the satanic force, all of which would be defeated at the Messiah’s coming.
He furthered questioned Jesus Christ with this question, “what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? (4:34).
Satan had been told at the time of the fall of Adam and Eve that his head would be bruised by the heel of the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15).
He knew, in other words, that when Messiah came, it would bring his destruction.
That is why the demon so quickly asked the question of what Jesus was doing there in the synagogue.
Had He not come to destroy Satan?
What was the purpose of Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue?
What was going on? Satan could not figure out the game plan of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What did the scripture mean when it said he would bruise his head.
Not realizing that Jesus would “bruise his head” by means of His substitutionary death on the cross, Satan could not understand what was taking place.
Remember that Satan is not all knowing and at this time he too was trying to figure out how to get the upper hand on Jesus.
He had already tried to corrupt Jesus Christ in the wilderness, and probably had witnessed the incident in Nazareth and now he had sent his agent in the form of this demon to gather intelligence.
The demon was demanding to know what was going on.
But Jesus would not carry on a conversation with this demon.
He would not dignify the demon by giving it opportunity to show its Satanic nature.
So Jesus simply rebuked the demon and commanded it to be silent and to come out of the man.
The demon obeyed, but only after one final rebellious act, the act of one who will obey but only with defiance.
He cast the man to the ground in a way that was so violent, it seemed certain that the man would have been seriously injured.
The man was no longer useful to him and he cast him away like so much refuse.
That is Satan’s way. Use up the sinner and cast him aside as waste.
But Luke, the doctor, informs us further of our Lord’s great power by indicating that the man suffered no injury from this final fit.
Jesus was Lord of all, even seeing to it that this act of defiance did no harm to this man in whom the demon dwelt.
We can see that the man was totally dominated and controlled by this unclean and evil spirit.
We can see that the demon was seeking to resist the purposes of Messiah, rebellious to the end.
We can also see that our Lord Jesus Christ was in complete control.
For Jesus cast the demon out with one short sentence.
Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
The demon obeyed, reluctantly, but immediately, and there was no injury allowed to happen to the man.
The incident had a great impact on those who watched as it was intended to do by God the father.
Every thing that Jesus did had a profound impact on those who witnessed the event.
Most likely this whole event took very little time, but even the briefness of the event was important.
At the word of Jesus, demons obeyed for the word of Jesus had great power and authority.
If Jesus’ teaching was authoritative, so were His words spoken to the members of the satanic forces.
And amazement came upon them all in the synagogue, and they began discussing with one another, and saying, “What a word is this!”
For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Luke 4:36).
Jesus’ words were powerful, whether in teaching, or in commanding the demon to be silent and to depart from the demoniac.
The authority of our Lord was to be seen by the power of His words.
This is a principle of scripture as we are to see God’s power by his words.
He spoke the worlds into existence.
All power is displayed by God’s word.
If we are a child of God that is the way it is to be in our homes.
Power is to be displayed by word and the more that, that can be emphasized in the home the better.
Everything else that is used, such as a switch, or deprivation is only temporary and used to get to the place where word alone and only word alone will get the job done.
The switch is used along the road of obedience but word alone is at the destination.
When you have voice obedience you have gotten to the destination.
Voice obedience continues after the switch is thrown away.
When you have voice obedience that is Christ like!
For when Jesus spoke, even the demons listened, and obeyed.
As a result of this incident in the synagogue Jesus’ reputation was spread abroad.
Luke 4:37, And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
This is what people were talking about all over the country surrounding Capernaum.
They also brought many to Him for healing, which is described in Luke 4:38-41.